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Going Home After Your Delivery in KKH

Going Home After Your Delivery in KKH - What it is

Congratulations on the arrival of your newborn! This is the beginning of an enriching and beautiful parenthood journey. Being a new parent can be daunting at times, but you can overcome this anxiety with some advice on caring for your baby during the first few weeks.

Caring for your baby’s umbilical cord
  • Keep your baby’s cord clean and dry at all times.
  • Use cotton wool with cool boiled water to clean the cord.
  • Always clean from base upwards each time after baby’s bath or when the cord is wet.
  • The cord will dry gradually and drop off within a week.
  • Go to the nearest polyclinic or GP clinic if the surrounding area is red or there is foul smelling
  • discharge or bleeding from the umbilicus.

Caring for your Episiotomy wound

The perineum is the skin between the vagina and the anus, which thins out and stretches as the baby is delivered. Many women will need stitches to repair any tears or cuts (episiotomy) of the perineum that occur during childbirth. The perineal tear usually heals in two to three weeks, depending on the size of the incision and the type of sutures used to close the wound.
  • Keep the wound clean by washing with water, dry and dab gently after every toilet visit.
  • Change sanitary pads every two to three hours.
  • Reduce discomfort by:
    - Using Epikool (pads with cooling gel)
    - Lying on the bed or resting on your side every few hours. Avoid sitting for long periods.
    - Taking prescribed painkillers to help control any pain.
  • Use a sitz bath:
    - Add two teaspoons of salt into cool/lukewarm water in the sitz bath basin.
    - Ease yourself in the basin until water touches your perineum.
    - Immerse yourself for approximately 20 minutes, three times a day.
  • The stitches will dissolve on their own and do not need to be removed.
  • Please consult your doctor if you experience any of the following:
    - Pus-like/foul-smelling discharge from vagina
    - Bleeding from episiotomy wound
    - Fever and/or chills
    - Severe or increased perineal pain

Caring for your Caesarean wound

  • In the first week after operation, always keep the dressing clean and dry.
  • If it gets wet, visit the nearest GP clinic/polyclinic to change it.
  • Removal of dressing is to be advised by nurses or as indicated by your doctor.
  • Removal of stitches depends on the type of sutures used and is to be done according to the doctor’s instructions.
  • Observe for bleeding, redness or pus around the wound area, which may suggest wound infection. Please return to the hospital if you have any of these symptoms and/or fever.
  • Do not lift heavy objects for at least two months.
  • Avoid strenuous activity that may cause injury or pain. This will allow your wound to heal promptly.

Lochia

  • Lochia is the “bloody” discharge which begins right after delivery.
  • During the first couple of days, the bleeding can be quite heavy but it will gradually decrease.
  • The colour of the lochia changes from bright red to pink or brown and may become yellow before it disappears completely.
  • Most mothers find that the bleeding stops within three to four weeks. However, for some mothers, lochia may continue for up to eight weeks.
  • Please consult your doctor if the lochia suddenly becomes heavy after decreasing.

Afterpains

  • "Afterpains" or postpartum cramp is a mild ache felt in the lower abdomen in the first few days following delivery.
  • It is most intense in the first few days after giving birth, and may last from a few days to between four to six weeks after the delivery.
  • It is caused by contractions of your uterus as it returns to its pre-pregnancy size.
  • If you are breastfeeding, you will feel the uterus contracting when the baby is suckling.
  • Painkillers (NSAIDS) are commonly prescribed after childbirth to reduce pain and lochia flow. You are advised to take them as prescribed by your doctor.

Breastfeeding – care for your breasts
  • Wear a supportive bra during breastfeeding.
  • Breastfeed your baby on demand every two to three hours, including night feeds, to prevent breast engorgement.
  • Express your breast milk every three hours if your baby is not able to feed directly from the breast.
  • Massage your nipple and areola before every feed to promote a good flow of your milk.
  • Apply a cold pack or cold cabbage leaves once or twice over the breasts in between feeding or expression, to reduce swelling if your breasts feel hard and painful.
  • If any part of your breast is red and painful, and/or if you feel shivery or feverish, seek medical attention or consult the Lactation Consultant immediately. There may be a breast infection.

    Please refer to the breastfeeding booklet for more information.

    If in doubt, you may call the Lactation Consultant through the hospital main line at 6-CALL KKH (6-2255 554). The Lactation Consultant may arrange an appointment for you at the Lactation Clinic.

Diet

  • Eat a variety of foods, especially green leafy vegetables and fruits to regain your health.
  • If you are breastfeeding, ensure adequate fluid intake and avoid alcoholic drinks.
  • Taking Vitamin C tablets daily will aid in wound healing. 

Medication

  • Take prescribed medications regularly, as advised by the pharmacist.
  • Look out for any drug allergy reactions.
  • Seek medical attention if you experience any rashes, swollen eyes and shortness of breath.
  • Consult a doctor if you wish to take any traditional or complementary medicine.

Rest, relax and exercise

  • It is important for you to relax and rest during the confinement period.
  • You should rest your back as much as possible to recuperate from the delivery.
  • Try to catch some rest when your baby is asleep.
  • You are encouraged to do some postnatal exercise as it will firm up your abdomen and muscles around the hips and thighs.
  • Do pelvic floor exercises or Kegel exercises to strengthen your lower pelvic muscles and prevent leakage of urine.
    - Try to contract the pelvic muscles involved during urination, when you are not urinating.
    - Tighten your pelvic muscles. Hold for three seconds, and then relax for three seconds.
    - Start with three seconds and increase gradually till you are able to hold for 10 seconds.
    - Do these for 15 minutes each session, three times a day.
  • Regular postnatal exercise classes are conducted on weekends at the hospital. For enquiries, please call Patient Education Centre at 6394-1268.

Postnatal follow-up

  • Before you are discharged from the hospital, you will be given an appointment for a postnatal follow-up as determined by your doctor.
  • The follow-up can be done at our Women’s Specialist Clinic, GP Clinic or a Polyclinic. 

Sex

  • Women resume sex at varying times.
  • Abstinence from sex until the wound is fully healed is recommended.
  • Consult your doctor during your postnatal review before you resume sexual intercourse.
  • This may be around six weeks after delivery.

Birth registration

  • You are advised to register your baby’s birth within 14 days.
  • You are required to bring the following documents for registration:
    - Original marriage certificate
    • Original marriage certificate issued by Singapore Registry of Marriage OR
    • Original foreign marriage certificate with English translation copy.
    - Parents' identity cards
    - Birth notification form which is issued by the hospital
  • You can register your newborn baby at the Birth Registration Counter located inside the Admissions Office at Level 1, Women’s Tower. Birth Registration
    Operating Hours: Monday to Friday (exclude Public Holidays), 8.00am to 4.30pm (Last queue number will be issued at 4pm). Alternatively, you may register the birth at the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA), 10 Kallang Road, Singapore 208718 (next to Lavender MRT station).

A standard registration fee applies. For details, please call 6291-7053.

Going Home After Your Delivery in KKH - Symptoms

Going Home After Your Delivery in KKH - How to prevent?

Going Home After Your Delivery in KKH - Causes and Risk Factors

Going Home After Your Delivery in KKH - Diagnosis

Going Home After Your Delivery in KKH - Treatments

Going Home After Your Delivery in KKH - Preparing for surgery

Going Home After Your Delivery in KKH - Post-surgery care

Going Home After Your Delivery in KKH - Other Information

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